© 2021 Maine Public
header.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health

Penobscot Community Healthcare Restricts Use Of Rapid COVID-19 Tests Amid Surge In Demand, Limited Supply

A BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 test made by Abbott Laboratories, one of the two new rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
A BinaxNOW rapid COVID-19 test made by Abbott Laboratories, one of the two new rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

The state’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center is restricting use of rapid antigen tests for Covid-19 among surging demand and limited supply.

Penobscot Community Healthcare made the announcement Thursday in a written release.

Officials say they will reserve tests for employees and essential workers. Individuals who need a test for travel are being referred elsewhere.

PCHC’s Dr. Noah Nesin says in a written statement that the highly transmissible Delta variant threatens those who can’t be vaccinated, including the medically frail and children under 12, and tests must be prioritized for health care workers, teachers, and other essential personnel.

The Maine CDC said last week that Covid-19 testing supplies will likely be strained for the foreseeable future among a nationwide shortage.